Album review: LUH - Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing
- Credit: Archant
Ellery Roberts was responsible for getting the music press all luvved up with his former band WU LYF in 2011.
Sticking with acronyms, his new project with Dutch artist Ebony Hoorn stands for Lost Under Heaven, and retains many of the signature elements of the Wu Lyf sound.
Now an audio-visual experience rather than just a band, with LUH Roberts has expanded the breadth of WU LYF’s half-shamanic, half psyche-rock sound, dialling it right down to the lilting warmth of semi-acoustic guitar and textured strings (the meandering Loyalty) and in the other direction with $ORO.
The latter starts as a sombre, gothic march song with massive synth chords and treated vocals like some kind of Kanye cast-off (only with the ego inverted, Roberts railing against ‘the privileged few’), before descending into two-and-a-half minutes of glitchy 240bpm techno.
Roberts’ hoarse harking remains a defining aspect and an acquired taste (the compelling Unites finds him hectoring like an inebriated tramp rallying imaginary troops - ‘Are you ready? Ready?? READY?!), though Hoorn’s honeyed notes are a soothing, arguably underused, counterpoint.
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When they entwine their voices, as on First Eye To The New Sky, the heavy-lidded reverie Future Blues and thrillingly defiant Lament, they strike an arresting balance that signals a more fruitful future.
As they stand, LUH are blazing their own trail through the art-music world, creating a dense and multi-faceted music beast from bits of classical, electro, psych, techno, rock and even campfire strum-along.
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It might be Marmite music, but you’ve got to admire their passion.
Rating: 3/5 stars.